Dixie Peach: Overflow

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This morning found me crying.

Crying is my safety valve. When my emotions, positive or negative, get cranked up to eleven the tears start. It's my way of keeping my head from exploding. Not howling, boo-hoo crying but tears that don't stop until I can get settled back down.

B's digestive system has been screwed up for going on a month now and since Sunday the circulation in his legs is beginning to worry me. It's all part of his screwed physiology from his spinal cord injury and it's just one more thing for me to worry about. If I had to give my occupation it would be "The One Who Worries About B".

Sometimes I get so resentful of his injury. I'm not resentful of B or the care he needs but I resent the injury itself. I resent how it's a burden on him and how he can never escape it. I resent that we can't live even one day like everyone else. I think of the things we miss out on - vacations and visiting where we like and going everywhere together. Being able to hold his hand as we walk down the street or dancing together. Even just going outside without it being a long, drawn-out process that takes the effort of a pile of people. I resent that he's being cheated out of things and it cheats me out as well. I'm even resentful of my resentment - that it takes up space in my life.

I wish I could be more like B. He seems to take it all in stride but then again he's had more practice than I've had. He's the one who really has a right to be bitter and resentful and he never is. He never complains. He just learned to live with what life gave him. He finds what's good and appreciates it.

I wish I had that sort of grace. I wish I could shut off the resentment. I wish I didn't get pissed about a spinal cord injury but I do. I get angry that the person I love with all my heart got screwed out of a normal life when he was twenty-four years old. I just resent how it controls us both and how it always will.

I had my bout with tears and B kissed me and comforted me and shortly thereafter I left to go to the bakery. Outside I saw an older couple with their son. They live in the apartment building next to mine and I see them rather often. Their son is grown - he may be in his thirties by now - and he's mentally and physically disabled. His twisted body is stuck in a wheelchair and faithfully his parents care for him. I wondered about their resentment. I wondered if they even had resentment. It seemed to me that they had more reason to be resentful. I don't know the nature of their son's disability - if he was born that way or if it was due to injury or illness - but I know it's not what they barganed for when they had a child. I chose to marry a disabled man, they had one handed to them without invitation. I wonder if they at times resent their son's disabilities and how they must dance to its tune. I wonder if they resent never being able to release their child into the world to make his own way and having their elder years free for themselves. I wonder if they resent having to worry about what will happen to their child once they're gone.

I smiled and said good morning to them as I passed and the son gave me a big smile back. Like B, he's the one who should really be resentful of his lot in life and yet he seems to just be who he is. He's able to know what's good in life and have it give him a smile.

His smile put tears in my eyes again. Just all that emotion bubbling up.


Blogger J said...

Ever noticed how sometimes the things we want most in life are the things we can't have? I know what it's like to be resentful of an uncureable illness/disability. There are days when it doesn't bother you too much and there are other days when you just can't stand it, but realise that you have no other choice than to go on - so you do. However, the thing that caused the resentment is still there - the feelings are just placated for a while until the next bubble up.

B sounds like a great man and you two are very fortunate to have each other.

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

When I finally make it to the polls today and cast my vote for Missouri's stem cell initiative, I will be thinking of you and B, and everyone who's experienced what both of you have. I wish every person who doesn't understand the initiative could read what you wrote today.

Wish I was closer so you could cry on my shoulder.

Love you.

11:05 PM  
Blogger LeaderOfMyPack said...

You and B are true inspirations to me.

Enough said.

Love you My Peach.

11:41 PM  
Blogger sari said...

Sending you my love, too, my friend.

That's all.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sending my love too!

12:32 AM  
Blogger Belinda said...

Oh, Dixe...Alex and I have had several conversations on this topic today, as he has repeatedly APOLOGIZED to me for "getting you into this," "bringing this illness into your life," etc. At one point, he said, "I can see your frustration, your disappointment, and I'm so sorry."

At that point *I* had to cry, and explain that yes, I get frustrated and angry. AT THE DISEASE, not at my husband. The disease pisses me off, and every time there's a new symptom or a regression, I do get frustrated. I think, "Well, what are we looking at now; will he be out of commission for weeks? Will he get hypomanic? Will he be depressed and take to his bed, while I watch helplessly?" And that conveys to him, I'm learning, as though I'm upset with HIM, frustrated with HIM.

You express this all so well. It's no wonder I love you. (And that you say things like "Bless her bones.")

1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely understand your day today. Mine seem to sneak up on me and I explode when the stupidest thing occurs. You've written this so well, its almost like you're in my head!

1:44 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Well dang if y'all haven't gotten me all teary again! Really, y'all are awfully sweet and good to me. All your love and support helps more than you can know.

2:20 AM  
Anonymous ashley said...

dix, this was really sweet. i love you and b. i love that i can tell how much you love him from your words.

2:37 AM  
Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I admire him so much. I would not have been able to handle his situation nearly as well.

Hang in there, my friend. I admire the hell out of you too.

2:50 AM  
Anonymous Contrary said...

Whenever I see an older parent with a grown disabled child, I immediately start worrying about what's going to happen to the child when the parents die or are otherwise no longer able to care for them.

I imagine that consumes them more than regret or resentfulness.

You have a way with words, and an obviously loving spirit. I must say again how much I love NaBloPoMo and that crazy randomizer. It brngs all sorts of cool people into your circle of friends.

2:53 AM  
Blogger Hilda said...


You and B are so brave and cool and wonderful!

You know what, you're entitled to have "resentment days" - B is wise enough to know it's not him, it's his condition.

So cry your angry tears and cry your happy tears...your emotions are essential to who you are...let your emotions flow.


4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Dixie...
Thank you for sharing this with us. It reveals so much about your heart, which is so beautiful. Your resentment is honest and real and directed at the right thing. It's OKAY.
Isn't the 'virtual' community an amazing support group?
Lots of hugs,

6:24 AM  
Anonymous The other Belinda said...

thank you so much for your honesty. you're really only human after all and there's nothing wrong with feeling the way you do. at the end of the day after the feeling of resentment is gone you and B have each other and that's the best thing EVER! :)

much love and hugs from this side of DE

8:34 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

You're such a wonderful person! Really.


9:38 AM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

So now you know you and B do NOT carry this alone!!! I will never forget his precious, sweet smile. What you have said about his spirit is absolutely true. And you, dear Dixie, are so perfect for him! For each other.

2:54 PM  
Blogger purplepassion said...

Although I only know you through your blog, it is very obvious what special people you and B are. I cannot imagine your daily lives and can only imagine the resentment you must surely feel. You are only human, it's normal. Letting those feelings go through tears allows you to embrace life better once the resentment has passed.
It's wonderful that you are both there for each other.
Sending you e-hugs.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, sweetie, I wish I could have been there to give you both a hug. I admire each of you so much because you face life with so much love and hope. Like Robin, I think of B every time I hear or think about stem cell research. I pray that they find something soon. I would pay buttloads of cash to watch the two of you share a dance.

Love you both! M

9:28 PM  
Blogger zoe xx said...

You are ace. End of.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Wow. Y'all have overwhelmed me. I shouldn't be surprised though because y'all are incredible, supportive folks.

Thank you again for the compliments and the support and love. Y'all are some of my greatest blessings.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Emotion is good! And yes, sometimes we often feel bad, but honey, you should not feel bad at all. You are human and amazing for seeing and loving the man and not the disability.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous mammabear said...

Barefoot, I'd join in paying buttloads of cash to see Dixie & B dance. Then we could cry a river of happy tears too.

Dixie, your the tops lady! The real tops!

1:42 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Mammabear, you know I'd want you right there in the first row. You know how you and I feel about hope.

You're my hero too. When I get scared and feel like a big weenie about it, I think of you. You help me feel brave again.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Jemima said...

Hugs, that's all, just hugs for you both.

8:02 PM  

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